ASUS launched its Zenfone 2 series of smartphones in India with a spectacular launch event in Delhi at Kingdom of Dreams. Zenfone 2 was one of the most awaited launches in India since it was announced at Mobile World Congress in January, not just because of it’s spectacular internals and performance but also because ASUS is known to price its smartphones very competitively. ASUS announced it’s new flagship along with the exclusive selling partnership with Flipkart and ASUS Exclusive Store.
ASUS launched four versions of the Zenfone 2 in India which includes the top-end model with a humongous 4GB of RAM. Although, I feel that the model numbers of the devices might confuse users a bit. The model number for the lowest end version if ZE550ML, while all the other 3 versions have ZE551ML as their model number with different specifications. All the models are powered by Intel 64-bit processors with internal storage ranging from 16GB to 64GB.
The highest end model dubbed as the ZE551ML features a 2.3 GHz Intel Z3580 processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal memory. This was the most awaited ones out of all because of it’s huge 4GB of RAM, which enables seamless performance and allows it to run several apps in the background without any problem. I was able to run 4 high-intensity games on it at the same time without any problem and no visible lag at all. This phone easily beats any phone within it’s price range. The 64GB ZE551ML with 4GB of RAM is priced at ₹22,999 while the 32GB model is priced at ₹19,999. The 16GB version of the ZE551ML is not only lowered by internal memory and RAM but also features a 1.8 GHz Intel Z3560 processor which is only a little behind it’s big brother, the Z3580. It is priced at ₹14,999. The lowest end model dubbed as the ZE550ML features the Intel Z3560 processor clubbed with 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage, with a lower screen resolution of 720p and is priced ar ₹12,999.
All the phones feature a 13MP f/2.0 camera along with a 5MP shooter in the front with ASUS’s proprietary PixelMaster v2.0 technology which enables the devices to take amazing photographs and also allows them to take 52MP shots with extreme detail when required. ASUS got Robert Jhans, who is one of the top 15 Instagrammers in the world, and Dabboo Ratnani, who is the number 1 Bollywood photographer, to create a photography collection called “See what others can’t see” which will soon be available on their Social handles. I have tried the camera and it feels really impressive on Auto mode, and it also comes with a pro mode for people who prefer manual controls. The camera also features a Super HDR mode, which seems to be an extended form of HDR as we see in other devices. I found the images to be great in low light, but a bit saturated with above-average lighting. The camera is excellent overall.
The Zenfone 2 devices also features a proprietary Boost Master technology which is similar to the Fast Charging on other Qualcomm based devices, although ASUS claims that it allows the phone to charge much faster than other flagships. The devices run a customised version of Android 5.0, Lollipop. In terms of connectivity, the device supports HSPA, 4G LTE Category 4 (FDD and TDD), WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, micro USB, USB OTG along with 5 different geo-location technologies including GPS/A-GPS and GLONASS. The devices come with a huge 3,000 mAh battery.
As well all know, ASUS calls its Android skin as the “ZenUI”. We have previously seen it in the last generation of Zenfone devices and found it be good for an average consumer. This time, ASUS has done some great work and made it even better. The UI feels absolutely smooth with no lag at all. The added features makes it even easier to use.
Along with the phone itself, ASUS also announced several accessories with it built specifically for the Zenfone 2 which includes a flip-cover named as “View Flip Cover Deluxe” which has a circular cut-out for calls and other functions, ZenEar are a pair of headphones, ZenPower is a 10,050 mAh Powerbank, Lolliflash is a front facing flash and ZenFlash, which is a DSLR grade back-facing Xenon flash.
The Zenfone 2 series of devices are available on Flipkart and I totally recommend you to buy them if they fall in your budget.